Well, in a moment of ill-conceived inspiration, I thought I'd start something new from thumbnail/silhouette form. These are mini-mecha, maybe one and a half stories tall at most. I'm personally partial to 1, 3, and 8, but what the hell do I know being self-taught and all? Any/all input would be extremely helpful.
Well, have some tentative shading/highlights on what I have so far to at least try to differentiate between my bland-ass designs:
One particular issue I'm having in designing this is that I need to fit the cockpit in somewhere, and the design is only so large. I'm mostly debating between 3 and 7 now.
I agree about trying more interesting and exaggerated forms and different proportions. All these have boxy cockpits and pretty humanoid-ish arm and feet length and thickness.
I'd ask what is the purpose of these?
If they are made to lift heavy things, how about arms that can reach the ground while it stands and visibly look like they can lift things with maybe bit shorter and stockier legs so that their center of mass is lower so that when they lift the things high they won't risk falling? Or if these are for quick artillery/scout mission, how about longer legs made for agility and running with smaller arms that won't screw their balance while running and smoother forms to increase the air dynamics? If these are for heavy fire, how about even more boxy, short forms and heavy shields and heavy weaponry?
Are they meant to be just "run of the mill" mechs that several people use (like construction machines) that are there to do a job or something really expensive and personal, like the neighbors new Corvette they wax every morning? Will people spend a lot of time inside them or just short periods and how will that affect the size/comfort level of the cockpit in the designs? Are these meant to make people scared/be in awe ("oh my gawd the army is here to fuck up our shit") or are these meant to be reassuring ("I feel a lot safer when I see a mech patrolling on our street at night").
Last edited by TinyBird; July 24th, 2012 at 12:55 PM.
Well, the idea is something along the lines of a more westernized VOTOMS:
Overall purpose is as a heavy cavalry unit to supplement existing MBTs as well as providing fire support for infantry in rough/urbanized terrain that MBTs would have difficulty navigating in. I am, rather idiotically, aiming for a blander/realistic and much more brutal utilitarian look since it's a tank, not a sports car. The weaponry is basically modular, either attaching by hardpoints or being outright hand-held. However, beyond the excuse of "The cockpit takes up most of the oversized torso," I really don't have an excuse for how bland and boring my work is thus far.
That said, I'm ginning up some newer thumbnails of some different ideas. As it is though, are there any particular figures that seem striking?
I read somewhere that all your first ideas will always be cliche and you need to get them all out of your system before you can come up with something creative.
So maybe try doing 20 more thumbnails and see if they start getting better.
"The whole point of practice is to do it until you can do it right." - dpaint
Dont trust anything i say! I'm a noob.
My Noob Sketch Book
I really don't want to sound snippish or fodder for the "Worst of CA" thread, but they all seem rather similar for a reason: They have to fit a specific mission profile.
There's a reason why the LAV, BTR, and other wheeled IFVs share similar lines, and why all MRAPs follow a general design philosophy that makes them look the same. In this case, the mecha is intended to be at most as tall as a modern MBT is long. As such, the huge torso is to fit the pilot inside, and he's pretty cramped as it is. The limbs are shortened first for clearance in urban terrain, and also because that height is the effective ceiling in-universe for mecha without going into "wires in your brain" to stabilize the moving mass.
tl;dr - BLAH BLAH BLAH POOR TECHNOBABBLE EXCUSES FOR NOT WORKING ON MORE THUMBNAILS.
For reference on what I was talking about: BTR, LAV-25, Type 96, Pandur 2, Marauder, Caiman, RG-33
I've been meaning to work on more thumbnails, but I've got a paper to finish... More will likely be up around Thursday-Fridayish.
But anyway, I'd pencil/paper ideas and then translate to comp so you'd have a better idea of the silhouette instead of having...stacked bricks?
My SketchBook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=139784
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=192127"Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."-John Huston, Director
Four minutes late and a dollar short, but here're some sketched thumbnail things in terms of shape. The repetition of that squared-off look may be what I wind up going for, to be honest. The general stubby look is basically unavoidable given how the design is put together, unfortunately.
Lighting and perspective are still a bit weird, but I'm cobbling it together from elements of some of the designs:
MBTs/IFVs don't have articulated appendages and are stuck in 2-dimensional mobility. They turn in place, or go around obstacles, have limited fields of vision and are vulnerable attacks from above/flanks.
They're shaped the way they are to combat the environment they operate in, and due to the limitations imposed upon them by technology available.
They have static-form profiles; that is, aside from rotating a turret, optical technology and pivoting in place, they cannot physically morph their original forms to adjust to threats, obstacle and environmental situations.
Unlike Mechs who can walk, run, drive (if they have tracks), jump/swim (sometimes), step up/down, adjust their height by crouching/kneeling or stand up, climb, reach, look/aim upwards, and pivot torso and legs independent of each other. Their best armor is their dexterity, they are more adept at avoiding incoming fire or detecting enemies from different direction.
In your universe are mecha common operational vehicles? Does your mech expect mecha resistance or is it supposed to fight more conventional tanks/infantry counter-measures?
I'm guessing it won't have to worry about aerial nemesis, but what about enemies on buildings?
How is it expected to move? Does it only walk? Do it's legs only bend like a humans? Are its arms capable of holding weapons or will they be hard-point, if they can hold something can they be made longer or will the mech have to stoop-down to pick things up? Would this make it vulnerable?
I'm guessing your looking at about 6-8m tall? The pilot sits higher in the saddle, has a better field of vision than a lower MBTs/APCs, but that also means it's vulnerable to different angles and types of attacks. Right now that front body has a nice flat plate that looks inviting to an RPG team. Why not explore more sloped sides, or wedged to deflect away from the body? Can it see below its chin? Transparent canopy or remote-viewing? any anti-infantry measures?
I'm not saying slap a samurai head and flaming sword on it, but I think your limiting yourself too a perception of what's a bland/realistic aesthetic without considering how modern combat vehicles are shaped to operate in their environment, and how this thinking can be applied to your own mecha design.
Last edited by InfernoKing; August 5th, 2012 at 02:15 AM.
So, I've been busy, but this managed to squeak by while I was working:
Time to dredge this piece of crap up again!